Q: is Organelle new Nord Modular G2


Citter & Guitari Organelle looks like an interesting little instrument with nice compact form factor and convenient computer-free programming interface but how is it compared with classical computer programmed powerhouse like Nord Modular G2? Have you used both of these?


I’m a big fan of the Organelle :slight_smile: I have used a G2, but Ive never owned one.

tough really, i think the Organelle possibly has a little less DSP power (esp compare to expanded G2).

Pure Data patching is pretty different from the G2 offering - its real strength being is still actively developed, and the size of the community, there are 100s (1000s?) of patches/new object available and still be developed.
For example I last year ported most of the Mutable Instruments offerings (braids, clouds, elements, warps, rings) to PD/Organelle - and they run very nicely.

(if you look at C&Gs youtube they have a quick example of how to patch)

I also like the fact its open source so it can be extended (I’m a open source developer) by the community, and Ive been working on this since i had it last year… here is a tech demo i did recently, of some things ive been doing (all running only on the Organelle)

Specially about the Organelle, its nice for something small… a bit quirky, pity the keys aren’t velocity sensitive, and the 4 knobs for parameters are pots rather than encoders, but its ok - its not battery powered, but I do run it off a USB battery with USB to 9v converter, which it runs for hours on.
I love the fact that its user patchable, but i will say there are also quite a few interesting patches you can just download and run… and potentially tweak to your own desires.

summary, possibly not quite as powerful (in raw dsp), but much more flexible/modern

p.s. organelle is not limited to Pure Data…


Haven’t used the Nord. I wanted a Micro Modular something fierce back in the late 90’s. But as time went by and Mac OS X came along and I heard the software was never coming to OS X, I thought “maybe this ‘patch it on a computer’ interface isn’t such a good idea if the company can’t support it.”

So Organelle has a leg up there by being open sourced and having a pretty strong community driving updates. The list of things in Organelle OS 3 are pretty impressive, especially some of the things like also being able to run SuperCollider patches as well as PD.

It makes it feel like it can be usable for a long time, even if Critter and Guitari were to go away. The community can keep updating it and pushing it farther and keeping tools working with modern machines.

Nord never seemed to show such dedication to their Modular series, and despite me still wanting a Nord Modular, I’ve never bought one as it seems like a pain and a hassle to get the software working on modern OS’s.

The Axoloti system is even cheaper than Organelle and is actively maintained and its patching software looks much more similar to the Nord Modular software. But I haven’t bought into the Axoloti either because it’s this half-DIY thing and I haven’t the skills to make a cool (or even passable) enclosure for it. I really appreciate the Organelle as an immediately usable (while still quirky) little box.


I don’t have time to spend on an Organelle but it seems really getting better every 6 months with this blue box


Yeah. Especially this new improvement (Orac) which let you combine and run up to 10 patches simultaneously is absolutely great.


Pure Data (and Max) patchers have different modules and capabilities than Nord Modular patches, so just like with analog modular systems, one modular technique doesn’t necessarily replace the other, even if they’re both digital.

I have a Nord Modular Keys and a Micro Modular. Both run the Nord Modular Editor v3.0.3 on the latest macOS via wine (so there’s no need to install Windows). I can also make patches in Max to control the Nord Modular and my other MIDI gear. I feel like now I’m getting to the good stuff.

Install Pure Data and see if making patches that way is fun or at least worth the effort. If so, then maybe the Organelle would enhance that experience?


Cool, I do focus more on G2 and put Organelle on hold. Probably will pick up Organelle in future (adding MIDI DIN would help to make that decision).


The Magus is in a similar vein to the Organelle: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marser/magus-synthesizer


Roland makes a conversion cable if that’s your only hold up


Well, there are a few devices out (or coming) which are quite similar.

Norns is another one:

What makes the Organelle so special is it’s very active community. There are already tons of patches available either to use directly or to tinker with.


simply put…NO!


Btw, there is a nice write up by the author about how Orac works:


Don’t own an organelle but have a G2, and would be very surprised if it packs the same power and level of depth as possible with the nord


Well, in a sense (from an user-is-also-a-developer perspective) the Organelle and similar devices are even more powerful and deep, because you can get down to the bare metal and integrate or implement everything you want (low level ASM/C/C++ programming). You can also integrate all kinds of external hardware or utilize all kinds of protocols when you have to required skill set(s).

But, of course, from a pure user perspective the Nord Modular G2 wins hands down.


Owning both a Nord Modular G1 and an Organelle, I don’t think it’s useful to compare the two at all. Nord Mod is more or less the original (and arguably still the best) virtual modular VA implemented in hardware.

With the release of Orac, from what I understand, the Organelle becomes something else entirely - the best way I can think of to describe it would be “an OP-1, and just as cute and fun and friendly to use, except all of the synth, sequencer, sampler, recorder, and fx apps are customizable, modularized, chainable, routable, and there’s an ever-growing library of them”. I mean, that’s a hell of a cool thing and I’m still wrapping my head around it.


That’s also apparently the case with the Magus as it runs the Rebel Technology firmware as used in their existing Owl pedals, and PD patches too.

The Norns looks interesting too, so thanks for the information about it.


Organelle, Magus, Nord, Zoia, Norns…

The future is bontiful.


except the damn prices of Nord G2.
If you are going for the keyboard option you would be paying for 1800 EUR. And this for a digital synth more than 10 years old.
For me, thats one of the signs of lack of real competition on this market.


It’ll happen. Nord is obviously not interested in doing anything about it.

Anyway I was thinking more the Micro as competition to all the other options. The G2 is still beyond anything…


I was sure NI will do an hardware controller for reaktor blocks that talks to eurorack when it came out.
Now vcv is much more popular I guess.
Missed chance imo